A Liturgical Plan and a Simple St. Joseph Celebration

I have a confession to make. I am a bit of a liturgical year failure. I want to acknowledge the cycle of feasts and fasting and celebrate the seasons, but honestly I really don’t get much of it done outside of Advent. Maybe it is our non-crafty ways, but I have been on a quest to find ways to celebrate our faith that are simple and meaningful to my kids.

So I am currently developing a five-point plan. Because the plan is in its early stages, I can’t really speak to all of it right now, but I will share some thoughts on where I am going.

  1. Create a rhythm of prayer
  2. Celebrate the year with simple, meaningful traditions
  3. Attend Mass and adoration often (i.e. more than once a week)
  4. Create sensory reminders of the Faith in the home (appeal to visual, auditory, etc)
  5. Study the Bible, lives of the Saints, and the catechism on a regular basis
If you like this idea and have some things to add, I would love to chat with anyone via email about this. I think multiple heads are better than one.
Watching the amazing donut machine with friends.

So one of my current projects right now is to create a list of feasts and seasons in the Church year and plug in activities for the days that I think are simple, doable for my family, memorable, and meaningful. Now I will admit that most of the time the meaning comes from the discussion, and not from the sweet treat we consume. The treats and fun activities are the memorable part. The list is a work in progress right now, but I wanted to go ahead and start by celebrating the feast day of St. Joseph.

Here is what we did:
Adding our own sprinkles. The people at our local Krispy Kreme are so sweet.
After the kids asked about the sprinkle process they brought out a couple of
donuts for the kids to practice on.
  • Waltzing Matilda’s St. Joseph coloring page.
  • Prayed The Presentation mystery of the rosary and discussed the Holy Family’s obedience to God’s law in that mystery. Talked about how we can be obedient to God.
  • Sang the “St. Joseph” song from Sing Bible Prayer Songs.
  • Asked St. Joseph’s intercession for our family and especially for Dad who could not be with us today. (Speaking of, if you are near your dad on this day taking him the donuts and eating them together would be a fun idea.)
  • Visited our local Krispy Kreme and ate donuts in celebration of the feast. (As best I can tell the idea of eating donuts comes from Italian celebrations where Zeppole is a traditional food for a St. Joseph feast. We Americanized it.)
Now I want to point out that there was so much more we could do to celebrate the foster father of Our Lord, including daily Mass attendance, but we did what I was able to do. And we created a memory and attached it to the celebration of this saint. And I am going to let that be enough. We can always grow into more later, but sometimes the best thing is the thing you can accomplish.

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  • I think you are off to a great start! Next up, helping your friends beautify their home so you will have plenty of ideas for your own 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Listening in!!! Love your five point plan.

  • Angel says:

    You know, I think that kids *like* to eat special food on feast days, but at the base of it, what’s most important is simply to acknowledge the day, talk about the meaning of the feast or the life of the saint, and incorporate it into prayer. I don’t always manage even this, but what helps us is to have a liturgical calendar on the wall. Then if I don’t necessarily know that a feast day is coming up, one of us will still catch it and mention it and if we don’t know the meaning of the feast, we can look it up.

    But like you, I would like to do more when I can. This year has been a year for doing not much; hopefully we’ll be able to do more next year. But I think those seasons come and go. Sometimes it takes a big effort simply to remember and pray… and other years it seems easier to bake cupcakes and set out coloring pages or make crafts. But I don’t think that “simple” necessarily equals “not as good.”

    • Pam says:

      “but at the base of it, what’s most important is simply to acknowledge the day, talk about the meaning of the feast or the life of the saint, and incorporate it into prayer”

      Yes! You are exactly right and I love the idea of the posted calendar — so simple and yet I never thought of it. Where do you get yours?

      And “simple” is going to have to be “good enough” around here. That is what we are shooting for. And I think at times that simple might even be better in some ways. Also, simple seems like so much more when non-feast days are acknowledged as well. What I mean by that is saving treats for feast days and Sundays, so that the feast day has more “umph” and those days are set apart. Just my random thoughts, but does that make sense?

    • Angel says:

      Well, I have just been using the calendar our parish gives us for free every year. It’s not great, but it’s easy. It actually turns into our everything calendar: I write down appointments, etc. on it, too, so everything’s in the same place. I also have the St. Andrew’s Missal, which follows the Traditional Calendar. So I’ll often look up the day in the Traditional Calendar there, too.

      As far as the treats go – yes! It would be hard to celebrate every single feast day in the year, so I think it’s really a matter of picking and choosing the ones your family will emphasize — the big ones.

  • Pam, this post had me up last night thinking through a reply! well, really it was the nursing baby that had me up, but it was your post that i was thinking about!

    i think your simple celebrations sound like you are on the right track. simple is always better: a coloring page, a picture book to read, a treat for afternoon tea. and at the heart of it all, the conversations that will happen along the way. my favorite thing about the church year is that it circles around each year. we won’t always have a perfect saint day celebration (we missed St Patrick completely this year!), but we will have another chance next year.

    i’d really like to write a complete reply, but for now, here’s a link to a post i wrote about celebrating our boy’s birthday:
    http://onedeepdrawer.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/how-we-celebrate/

    peace keep you as you celebrate and learn with your children.

  • […] — don’t feel like you have to make a huge, elaborate feast. Planning something simple, but lots of fun, is one of the very best ways to celebrate a feast day. Don’t miss Pam’s […]

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